Thursday, December 02, 2010

Love Letters All Around: Welcome to the Banana Republic of BC

Dan Murphy, The Province.

What absolutely splendid, awkward and interesting times we're having here in the trailer park drama of BC's political scene.

First off, dear readers, I want to thank all of you. Yes, even you PAB lurkers and BC Liberal supporters who seethe at the skewering of your witless leaders. I don't have the time I'd like to devote to discussing all of the reasons I still believe the BC Liberals Suck, although I'm pretty sure most of you have a bunch yourself. So I appreciate that people stop by to see if I have written anything new.

I hope you are finding ways to join the revolution. You know - the one where we make sure our elected officials, of every stripe, gets the fact that they are working for us, using our dollars and we expect a hell of a lot better than we've gotten so far and some things are going to get a change up.

So, after that heartwarming little love letter, let's get ripping, with a bit of a twist.

Who in the hell would ever think we would be getting lessons in leadership, ethics and democracy from the BC Liberals? Definitely not I. But, that's what's happening as they race to lock and load, re-brand and finds them a new leader. Someone who seems new, but is still actually part of the same, tired old party. But, hope springs eternal, even in politics.

Anyone who knows me, knows if I think things aren't working, then I'm a big fan of trying to tear it all apart (in polite society that would include critical analysis and wordy e-mails to people who are pissing me off telling them how things need to change and why). And, when my delightfully tactful and diplomatic methodologies don't find success, then I (figuratively) light the match and scorch things to the ground and help build something new out of the ashes. That's what the BC Liberals are doing right now. It will work, if allowed to.

No doubt inside pressure & Machiavellian scheming was behind Campbell's ignominious admission of defeat (blaming the HST) and announcement he was stepping down as Premier (one of the happiest days BC could have wished for). It's only a loss for the people of Point Grey he will be hanging about until 2013. But I guess that will give the Powers that Be time to get his Directorships worked out. Or whatever his next assignment is now that he's been able to bring BC to its' knees. Carrying out the work of the Man is almost always well rewarded. Campbell need not worry, he is a Made Man.

The Ethical Resisters of the NDP

Beleaguared NDP leader, Carole James and the backroom Silverback hacks are in frantic damage control mode, desperately pulling together an emergency party meeting to try to get the splinter group under control.

Or maybe she's going to drop kick each of them out of the party, if they aren't willing to be "accountable for their behaviour." Booting them out is adding to the rapidly growing list of people she, or her so-called powerbrokers, are punting out of the tent. Isn't that reinforcing the very point the so called "dissidents" are trying to make?

MLA Jenny (Hell ya, I've had enough) Kwan is the most courageous, publically stepping forward, writing a letter and holding a press conference advocating for a one-member one-vote Leadership convention in the NDP. It's escaping me entirely why all the panties are in a bunch over this. When you read the utter nonsense being spouted off by the old school, the fresh voices, ideas and activists of the next wave of NDP leaders become so much more relevant, compelling and necessary.

Why isn't a supposedly democratic organization interested in testing the house, the entire house? This is most important since this hasn't happened once since James became the leader of the party, or lost 2 elections. Hmmm, is Kwan right when she says:

"Under Carole James's leadership, there has been a steady erosion of our democratic principles. Debate has been stifled, decision-making centralized, and individual MLAs marginalized," Kwan said in her statement, adding she thinks the party has also suffered from a "lack of direction" under James.

See a CBC News story on Kwan here. She denies she is interested in running for the leadership of the NDP and explains she is motivated to take this position because of what she is hearing "on the streets."

Statement from Jenny Kwan, MLA, Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant
Dec. 1, 2010.

Kwan isn't wrong either, nor is this about her Wrath, in spite of what some clever political creatures might think. Ask anyone outside the ever more exclusive and delusional inner ranks of the NDP, James, in spite of being a "nice" person (well, not sure if that's still the case), is not the kind of leader the majority of people are looking for now. Two strikes out already. Politics are a cruel mistress, suck it up princess and do the right thing. Time for the old blood to give way to the new, or suffer the fate of all out of touch cabal's, well, they already are - bloody regime change, and devastating loss. It's time for some real, strategic change in the NDP.

The NDP is also currently offering next to nothing for actual policy, or a platform from which to challenge the BC Liberal record. Or a true blue honest opinion. People want to know what they stand for. Pick an informed and principled opinion and stick to it. It's not that bloody hard and it's what earns respect from voters.

From a logical standpoint, this isn't just one off stuff, here are a number of incidents and events that have occurred during the time of Ms. James' leadership:
  • Michael Sathers was expelled from the NDP caucus.
  • Moe Sihota was positioned as president of the NDP and then it was learned money collected from donors was going to pay him for the pleasure of ruining the party, er, I meant running, yes, that's right.
  • Bob Simpson, NDP MLA for was kicked out of caucus, without the proper process being followed, for the mildest and hardly an earth shattering opinion - Carole James speech (pick one), was uninspired and lacked detail. Yes, any reasonable person can see he was way too harsh on James. Oh puhleeze, this is politics, remember, blood sport.
  • Norm Macdonald, resigned as NDP Caucus Chair over the handling of the Simpson affair.
  • Katrine Controy quit her position as Caucus Whip of the NDP. And she had the support of other MLA's, including Jenny Kwan, Lana Popham and Claire Trevena.
Sometimes, as painful as they are, breakups are best. All of those sappy self-help books say you can grow from your pain. And then start again with someone else, a little more battle weary, some more baggage, but ready to move on. That's where the citizens of BC find themselves, staring with astonishment at the train wreck break ups happening inside of both parties, with no viable third party alternative yet in the game.

I've got the perfect new tourism slogan:

Welcome to BC: The Banana Republic of the North.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are awesome... saying it like it is, so 'thanks'. Don't know how you're all gonna dig yourselves outta this one ~ but in one year, BC pretty much ruined us after bringing our hard-earned profits from Alberta.
Sorry to say, we are leaving for much greener pastures (again), and won't be back to help rebuild this province (again).
Just a couple less dumb-ass, fed-up taxpayers ~ so who cares? But I have to wonder how many of us there really are... And just how many insignificant workers and tax-payers can BC do without...?
I will still check your blog, as BC politics makes the rest of Canada look pretty good - never mind that it's always good for a laugh over the holidaze...
Thanks again, and keep it up.
Just a couple of Canadian citizens, ex-BC residents.